The haggling is over, the talks at an end, now it is time to sign on the dotted line.
Chancellor-in-waiting Angela Merkel and her incoming government colleagues will launch a new era in German politics today when they sign a coalition agreement between the country’s two main parties.
It comes after an inconclusive general election and weeks of hard bargaining between the Christian Democrats and Socials Democrats, who are far from being natural allies.
Major compromises on social and other policies have been made, but analysts say internal clashes within the so-called ‘grand coalition’ are inevitable.
Merkel is due to be sworn in next Tuesday and it is reported her first trip abroad will be to France in a bid to re-affirm the neighbours’ close ties. But it is also said she will make early trips to Poland and the US – two countries with which Germany has had strained relations in recent years.